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Paulo Fonseca: We play at home and we must attack

Wednesday, April 6, 2016



The press conference by Braga mentor ahead of the meeting with the Pitmen

- What do you think about Shakhtar?
- We are expecting a very difficult match. We are meeting with a top team with extensive European experience. Over the recent ten years, Shakhtar, probably, nine times played in the Champions League. This season, they have made it past Fenerbahce – the team we beat in the previous Europa League round. Playing in the group stage, Shakhtar scored three goals against Real Madrid, which is not easy to do! This is a clear evidence of the team’s attacking qualities. In the Europa League knockout stages, the Pitmen defeated Schalke 04, Germany after netting three away goals in Germany. I am sure they are a very strong team. I said after the draw: Shakhtar is one of the title challengers. This team goes its own way in the framework of the club's goals. Donetsk are strong offensively, featuring virtuoso players - of course, they will cause us major difficulties. So we are facing a very difficult game, without any doubt. But we cannot assume that it is impossible to advance further. I always say: impossible missions just don’t exist! At the same time, we are well aware that very strong opponents will play against us.

- There were rumours about your move to Trabzonspor.
- I expected people to talk about it... In recent weeks, there have been many pieces of news of this nature - initially, about the players, and now about the head coach. To once and for all close down this topic, I will say this: I did not sign any deals. I still have a contract with Braga valid for one more season. I’ve told you the truth, and I’m no longer going to answer any questions about it. I want to get back to the main topic – the encounter, which is vital for Braga. Now it is appropriate to talk just about the upcoming game.

- In the most recent league game, Braga lost 1-5 to Benfica. Shakhtar, in contrast, has enjoyed a major 8-1 defeat. It is clear that we are talking about different leagues, but still, which team is in better shape according to you?
- I can only speak about my team. I perceive the current situation emotionally, despite the fact that critics talk about the unjust result in the game against Benfica. We feel good, we are ready and motivated. We know: it will be difficult, but we believe that we’ll manage to play this round at a very high level.

- You said that Shakhtar are a very strong team, so we expect a tough clash. In this connection, will you focus on attacking tomorrow, as usual? Or will you pay more attention to defence, given that it is crucial not to concede at home?
- We have two goals: to win and not concede any goals. We are not going to change our game. We will play our usual style, trying to seize the initiative, win challenges in midfield, create chances and convert them. Besides, we are playing at home and we must attack. We understand that one of Shakhtar’s strengths is fast and quality counterattacking. We should be very attentive and focused to prevent the opponents from giving us an unpleasant surprise.